City trust fund still growing

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2016

With a volatile market in the second half of the fiscal year, the $30-plus million investment from the sale of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi that is being managed by Glenmede, still saw gains.

Albeit lower than the previous three years, the fund still generated enough revenue to grow the fund, pay investment fees and give Oxford leaders about $800,000 to use toward projects in the upcoming fiscal year, 2016-17.

Representatives from Glenmede presented a quarterly report to the Oxford Municipal Reserve and Trust Fund Committee on Tuesday, which represented the final quarter for the fund’s fiscal year that runs April 1 through March 31, and the first quarter of the calendar year.

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Nice return

As of March 31, the fund had a 1.5 percent return, leaving the value at $32,949,166.

“However, things have improved in April and as of the close of business on Monday, the value of the fund is $33,170,244,” said Glenmede representative Adam Conish. “Not only is that a significant rebound but we also saw the fund grow in value.”

The fund has grown an average of 4.7 percent annually since 2012.

Since its inception, the fund has earned about $5.4 million, including any withdrawals for payments and the annual 3 percent payout to the city of Oxford that goes into the city’s general fund to help fund a variety of projects.

The fund’s long-terms goals, set up by the committee, are capital preservation and real growth after inflation, about 2.5 percent, and the annual 3 percent payoff.

Conish said that while January was “scary,” underlying data shows the underlying economic fundamentals are still in tact.

“The economic data isn’t great, it’s OK,” he said. “There are no signs pointing to a recession at this time.”

Conish said there is a stabilization in oil prices and China’s stock market since January and the Fed said it won’t be aggressively raising interest rates.

“We did not have a knee-jerk reaction when the world seemed like it was coming to an end in January,” Conish said. “We stuck to our investment process. The economy has been in expansion since March 2009 and we believe the economy has room to grow, but at the same time, it wont be robust growth, but we are not looking at recession.”

As of March 31, 40 percent of the assets are allocated to equities, 55 percent are allocated to fixed income, and 5 percent is allocated to cash.

The top 10 holdings in the equity portfolio include Johnson & Johnson, Cisco Systems, JP Morgan Chase and Co., Oracle Corp, Omnicom Group, Apple, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Accenture, Cognizant Tech Solutions and the Chevron Corporation.

“I’m pretty pleased we have $33 million in the bank, have paid out more than $2 million and will have $800,000 to use again this coming year, with the unpredictable market that we’ve had,” said preserve and trust fund committee member Larry Chandler.